With the success of web shows such as The Outs and Husbands, gay protagonists have found an audience that they might not otherwise get on television. The comedy/mystery series Where the Bears Are attempts to put a bigger, hairier spin on the genre. Does it work? Well, like a real-life bear, it manages to hold your attention, but it’s not especially graceful.
The series follows three older gay gents who, after a wild birthday party, wake up to a sexy muscle cub named Hot Toddy in one of their beds and a dead body in their bathtub. Farcical hijinks ensue as they try to piece together exactly what happened and whether Toddy knows more than he’s letting on.
Where the Bears Are has some problems. The series doesn’t have a whole lot of substance beyond its (admittedly impressive) eye candy. The script and performances are more grating than funny, and most of the jokes revolve around the main characters’ sex lives. This is fine in theory, but the show takes a cue from Sex and the City in that the mere fact that the scenery-chewing characters have sex lives is meant to entertain us.
Certainly, the show has talent of sorts behind it. Writer/producer/actor Rick Copp has written for The Golden Girls and co-wrote The Brady Bunch Movie. Producer Ben Zook wrote the story for Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill (okay, strike that credit). And Ian Parks (Hot Toddy) does have excellent… screen presence.
There is something to be said for Bears‘ murder-mystery premise, which is rare for this type of series. Even though it doesn’t have much momentum – since the majority of each episode is devoted to whatever wacky situation the characters find themselves in - part of me is at least a little curious to see where the show is headed.
In the end, Where the Bears Are is a goofy, sexy little piece of chewing gum that quickly loses its flavor. It’s not terribly memorable, but you may as well enjoy it while it lasts.
Where the Bears Are can be viewed at http://www.wherethebearsare.tv/.